Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Waiting on Wednesday (37)

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly blogging event hosted at 
Breaking the Spine that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

This week I'm waiting on...
Jessica Rules the Dark Side (Jessica, #2)
Jessica Rules the Dark Side (Jessica, #2)
By Beth Fantaskey
January 10, 2012
It’s one thing to find out you’re a vampire princess. It’s a whole other thing to actually rule. Newly married Jessica Packwood is having a hard enough time feeling regal with her husband, Lucius, at her side. But when evidence in the murder of a powerful elder points to Lucius, sending him into solitary confinement, Jessica is suddenly on her own. 

Determined to clear her husband’s name, Jessica launches into a full-scale investigation, but hallucinations and nightmares of betrayal keep getting in her way. Jessica knows that with no blood to drink, Lucius’s time is running out. Can she figure out who the real killer is—and whom she can trust—before it’s too late?
What are you waiting on this week? Leave a comment and let me know!   

Thursday, September 22, 2011

The River of Time Series Contest

Hi, guys! I am happy to be sharing with you today one of my most favorite reads of the entire year (and maybe ever)... The River of Time Series by Lisa T. Bergren!!

Lisa and I have put together a little contest for you, and it's super easy. All you have to do is think up a song suggestion (just one!) to add to the River of Time series playlist. It cannot be one that has already been suggested by Lisa on the Facebook page. Because there isn't actually a specific page for the playlist, I've compiled as many as I could find in the list below.
Drifting - Plumb (ft. Dan Haseltine)
Alive Again - Matt Maher
Dark Horses - Switchfoot
Why Can't I? - Liz Phair
Come What May - Moulin Rouge
This Is Home - Switchfoot
The Motions - Matthew West
Never Going Back to Ok - The Afters
Tell us your entry using the form below, and you're in! This giveaway ends on Saturday, October 15, 2011, and is open to the US only. I'm sorry, but I'm poor! :(

I think I'm forgetting something... OH YEAH. The prize! The best song choices (chosen by Lisa herself) will be featured on the list and out of them, one will receive a set of all three books in the series (Waterfall, Cascade, Torrent), plus two signed bookmarks! From the remaining winners I will choose one randomly to receive a copy of Waterfall and two signed bookmarks.

If you have not read the series yet, never fear! You might get a good idea of the series from the recent River of Time series tour, my interview with the author and Gabi, the blurbs below, or by purchasing an eBook (Amazon, B&N) of Waterfall for just $7.99 - totally worth it!
Lisa Tawn Bergren's new YA series, River of Time, is romantic, historical fiction in which the plucky heroine doesn't have to fear a vampire's bite but must still fight for her life.

In Waterfall, American teenager Gabi Betarrini accidently finds herself in Fourteenth-Century Italy . . . Knights. Swords. Horses. Armor. And Italian hotties. Most American teens want an Italian vacation, but the Betarrini sisters have spent every summer of their lives there with their archaeologist parents. Stuck on yet another hot, dusty dig, they are bored out of their minds... until they place their hands atop handprints in an ancient tomb and find themselves catapulted into the Fourteenth Century and in the middle of a fierce battle between knights bent on killing one another.
Mom touched my underdress—a gown made six hundred years before—and her eyes widened as she rubbed the raw silk between thumb and forefinger. She turned and touched Lia’s gown. “Where did you get these clothes?”

Gabi knows she’s left her heart in the fourteenth century and she persuades Lia to help her to return, even though they know doing so will risk their very lives. When they arrive, weeks have passed and all of Siena longs to celebrate the heroines who turned the tide in the battle against Florence—while the Florentines will go to great lengths to see them dead.

But Marcello patiently awaits, and Gabi must decide if she’s willing to leave her family behind for good in order to give her heart to him forever.
When Gabi and Lia finally learn to surf the river of time, they realize they must make hard choices about life and love in the third and final book in the River of Time series.

Gabi and Lia Betarrini have learned to control their time travel, and they return from medieval Italy to save their father from his tragic death in modern times. But love calls across the centuries, and the girls are determined to return forever—even though they know the Black Plague is advancing across Europe, claiming the lives of one-third of the population. In the suspenseful conclusion of the River of Time series, every decision is about life … and death.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Waiting on Wednesday (36)

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly blogging event hosted at Breaking the Spine that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

This week I'm waiting on...
The Faerie Ring
The Faerie Ring
By Kiki Hamilton
Publication Date: September 27, 2011
Debut novelist Kiki Hamilton takes readers from the gritty slums and glittering ballrooms of Victorian London to the beguiling but menacing Otherworld of the Fey in this spellbinding tale of romance, suspense, and danger.

The year is 1871, and Tiki has been making a home for herself and her family of orphans in a deserted hideaway adjoining Charing Cross Station in central London. Their only means of survival is by picking pockets. One December night, Tiki steals a ring, and sets off a chain of events that could lead to all-out war with the Fey. For the ring belongs to Queen Victoria, and it binds the rulers of England and the realm of Faerie to peace. With the ring missing, a rebel group of faeries hopes to break the treaty with dark magic and blood—Tiki’s blood.

Unbeknownst to Tiki, she is being watched—and protected—by Rieker, a fellow thief who suspects she is involved in the disappearance of the ring. Rieker has secrets of his own, and Tiki is not all that she appears to be. Her very existence haunts Prince Leopold, the Queen’s son, who is driven to know more about the mysterious mark that encircles her wrist.

Prince, pauper, and thief—all must work together to secure the treaty…
What are you waiting on this week? Leave a comment and let me know!   

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Teaser Tuesday (37)

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:
  • Grab your current read
  • Open to a random page
  • Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
  • BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
  • Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!
Jessica Rules the Dark Side (Jessica, #2)
"Antanasia, we both know that the law is clear. I will be detained. And although you are growing into your role"-Yeah, right-"you will need protection," he said. "More than Emilian can offer." His gaze flicked to Raniero, who was slouching, hands in his pockets again. "I trust Raniero to watch over you."
     I was terrified at the thought that Lucius might actually be jailed. But as I looked at Raniero, I almost laughed. He was going to guard me? Because he was less terrible than the taco on his shirt.
     Then I thought of the retired stake, and my eyes tried to trace his strange tattoos in the gloom. There was something there... and maybe some method to Lucius's madness.
~From Jessica Rules the Dark Side by Beth Fantaskey

Note: The text featured in this post is from an Advanced Reader's Copy (ARC). Changes may have been made in the final proof.

PLEASE LEAVE A COMMENT with either the link to your own Teaser Tuesday post, or share your two 'teasers' in a comment here (if you don't have a blog). Thanks! 

Monday, September 19, 2011

Review: Haven


Standalone or Series: Series Book #1 (No Title)
Author: Kristi Cook
Reading Level and Genre(s): YA PNR
Features: Vampires, psychics
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Publication Date: February 22, 2011
Source: Won from Giveaway
One month into her junior year, sixteen-year-old Violet McKenna transfers to the Winterhaven School in New York’s Hudson Valley, inexplicably drawn to the boarding school with high hopes. Leaving Atlanta behind, she’s looking forward to a fresh start--a new school, and new classmates who will not know her deepest, darkest secret, the one she’s tried to hide all her life: strange, foreboding visions of the future. 
     But Winterhaven has secrets of its own, secrets that run far deeper than Violet’s. Everyone there--every student, every teacher--has psychic abilities, 'gifts and talents,' they like to call them. Once the initial shock of discovery wears off, Violet realizes that the school is a safe haven for people like her. Soon, Violet has a new circle of friends, a new life, and maybe even a boyfriend--Aidan Gray, perhaps the smartest, hottest guy at Winterhaven. 
     Only there’s more to Aidan than meets the eye--much, much more. And once she learns the horrible truth, there’s no turning back from her destiny. Their destiny. Together, Violet and Aidan must face a common enemy--if only they can do so without destroying each other first.
I finished this book on July 14. I am now writing this review on September 3. That, my friends, is how much I procrastinate. Do not learn from me.

There was a lot of hype around this book, and I was super excited to read it. Unfortunately, it fell a little for me. I found the plot typical and predictable, with one twist that was easily solved.

Violet was an okay character; I liked her enough. I found her friends amusing and interesting characters, so I enjoyed reading about them. (Although Marissa confused me. Bipolar, much?) Aidan, while definitely attractive, was a little mature. Of course, when you're a bajillion years old, you might sound a bit old-fashioned. I was hoping for a little more relationship build-up between Violet and Aidan, rather than the I'm-attracted-to-you-and-you're-attracted-to-me-OMG-we're-totally-meant-for-each-other! excuse.

The ending rushed by very fast, much more quickly than how the rest of the book went. Overall, it was a good start for debut author Kristi Haven, and I'm excited for the rest of the series. Are you a vampire fan? A lover of paranormal romance? Then this book is for you! (That totally just sounded like a commercial. Bleh.)

First Line: I'll never forget that first glimpse of Winterhaven as we pulled up the long, curving drive- gray stones bathed in the lavender haze of dusk, looking like an old European university, all flying buttresses and stone spires reaching toward the sky.

Call me old-fashioned, but I wanted to be pursued, not the pursuer.

He called me "love." I liked that. A lot.

"I'm just glad you're okay," he said. "I heard you scream, and I ran right over."
Well, that's one way to get a guy's attention, I thought.

"So what's everyone else doing tonight?" I asked.
"Something with Jack," Kate said, smiling coyly. "Clothing is optional." 

Disclaimers: Per the FTC regulations, please note that iLive, iLaugh, iLove Books does receive books for review for free by publishers or authors. For every book reviewed – whether sent by publisher, author or books purchased, it will be graded with a clean and open mind. A free book received will not influence any opinion of the contents of the book.
Spoilers may or may not have been present in this review. While iLive, iLaugh, iLove Books does review honestly, reviews are not specifically checked for spoilers. Attempts at avoiding spoilers are made, but not all are removed or fixed. This disclaimer is a general statement placed on all reviews as a warning to those who read them.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Bookie Brunch

I spent my morning over at Songs and Stories, discussing books and enjoying my favorite drink with four other wonderful ladies!

This week's topic was...
What is your favorite kind of magical/mythical/supernatural creature to read about?
You can read my answer HERE and pitch in with your own! There's also a giveaway of a Sense and Sensibility book/movie set that you can enter by participating. If you're interested in joining the Brunch, contact Amanda-Lee!

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Giveaway Reminder: Ladybird, Ladybird

Hey guys!

Just a reminder that tomorrow is the LAST DAY to enter for one of five $50 American Express gift cards!

As a hosting blogger, I'm entered in the blogger contest, and every time you guys enter, I get an entry! So please help me out and enter! :D
Click HERE to go to the giveaway page! When it asks for the referring blogger, put "iLive, iLaugh, iLove Books."

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Waiting on Wednesday (35)

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly blogging event hosted at Breaking the Spine that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

This week I'm waiting on...
Daughter of Smoke and Bone
Daughter of Smoke and Bone
By Laini Taylor
Publication Date: September 27, 2011

Around the world, black handprints are appearing on doorways, scorched there by winged strangers who have crept through a slit in the sky.

In a dark and dusty shop, a devil's supply of human teeth grown dangerously low.
And in the tangled lanes of Prague, a young art student is about to be caught up in a brutal otherworldly war.

Meet Karou. She fills her sketchbooks with monsters that may or may not be real; she's prone to disappearing on mysterious "errands"; she speaks many languages—not all of them human; and her bright blue hair actually grows out of her head that color. Who is she? That is the question that haunts her, and she's about to find out.

When one of the strangers—beautiful, haunted Akiva—fixes his fire-colored eyes on her in an alley in Marrakesh, the result is blood and starlight, secrets unveiled, and a star-crossed love whose roots drink deep of a violent past. But will Karou live to regret learning the truth about herself?
What are you waiting on this week? Leave a comment and let me know!   

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Author Interview and Giveaway: Beth Fantaskey

Please give a warm welcome to the wonderful author Beth Fantaskey, author of Jessica's Guide to Dating on the Dark Side and Jekel Loves Hyde!
Say hi to everybody out there! Or you can sing a song, do a little dance…
Nobody wants to hear me sing – or see me dance, for that matter!  I promise you that!  In fact, the inability to carry a tune or keep a beat are two of my defining characteristics.  Beyond that, I’m in my mid-forties, live in a small college town in Pennsylvania, and I’ve written stuff for my entire professional life.  I’ve been hired to write speeches for politicians and magazine stories about everything from what it’s like to drive a Zamboni to the perils of roller skating with senior citizens.
3LB: Who or what inspired you to write? Do you have any role models, whether in writing or life in general?
I actually began writing for practical reasons.  When I graduated from college, I 
had no job prospects, so when a friend mentioned that a public relations office was hiring writers, I applied.  When I turned in my writing sample, the man who would become my boss said, “You know you’re a writer, right?”  I got hired on the spot, and that’s what I’ve done ever since – thank goodness!
     That said, my writing role model is Alexandre Dumas – not that I pretend to be anywhere close to emulating him.  However, I am fascinated by the way he creates characters who are flawed but noble, and how he keeps his plots moving along with twists and turns and action.  I definitely keep his work in mind when I’m writing.
Jessica's Guide to Dating on the Dark Side (Jessica, #1)3LB: Are any of your characters or scenes based on people/events in your own life?
My sister is very rational, like Jessica Packwood in my first book, and I’m very shy, like Jill Jekel in Jekel Loves Hyde, but I wouldn’t say any of my characters are based on people I know.  For example, aside from being logical, Jessica has nothing to do with my sister, and, unlike Jill Jekel, I have no aptitude for science.  My characters just sort of come to life as their own people.  And I’ve never written a scene from my own life, either.  I think my life is too boring to be in a book! 
3LB: If you were stranded in an area with lots and lots AND lots of snow, which one of your book characters would you want there with you?
I would want to be stuck with vampire prince Lucius Vladescu.  He’s very witty, 
and we could talk about literature for hours.  I don’t see him complaining, either.  He’s not a whiner and would never say he was bored.  Plus, he’d be pretty nice to look at, while we were snowbound!
3LB: I feel that names hold meaning and importance to characters. You have some very interesting ones, especially Antanasia (which I originally read as “Anastasia”) and Vasile. How do you come up with or decide on the names for your characters? Do they hold meaning? 
Jessica Rules the Dark Side (Jessica, #2)Thanks so much for noticing the names, because I really do put a lot of thought into them and research their meanings.  For example, I chose “Vasile” for the villain in Jessica’s Guide to Dating on the Dark Side because it reminds me of “Vaseline” – something greasy and slimy – and means “king,” which is what he longs to be.  And I chose Lucius Vladescu for my vampire prince because “Lucius” means light – but is also reminiscent of Lucifer, the epitome of darkness.  I thought that was perfect for a character who is struggling to reconcile his light and dark sides.  And Vladescu is derivative of Vlad the Impaler, who was the inspiration for Dracula.  Meanwhile, in my second book, Jekel Loves Hyde, the hero is named “Tristen” because it can mean “chaos” and “tumult,” which is what he brings to Jill’s life.   One last example:  The new Italian, surf-bum vampire in my next book, Jessica Rules the Dark Side, is named “Raniero,” which means “wise warrior” and is a clue to his hidden past.  I really like playing around with names.
3LB: What’s next for you? What other books have you written?
I’m working on a new YA romance with a different kind of paranormal twist right now. That’s scheduled to come out in 2012.  My other books are Jessica’s Guide to Dating on the Dark Side, Jekel Loves Hyde, and the upcoming Jessica Rules the Dark Side.  That’s it so far!
3LB: Favorite movie of all time? 
The Princess Bride
3LB: If you had to live your life as an animal, what would you be? 
A cat, especially if I got to roam around exploring all night, then came home to get fed and sleep in a warm house.
3LB: What three people/characters would you love to meet? (They can be fictional, dead, or real and very much alive!) 
Edmond Dantes, his creator Alexandre Dumas, and Charles Dickens. 
3LB: Is there a book or series that you would recommend everybody to read? 
The Lord of the Rings trilogy.  It’s got an epic quest in a richly imagined world, a reluctant hero who saves the world, a plot that showcases the powerful bonds of friendship – not to mention a cool prince-in-disguise.  What more could we ask for in literature?
3LB: Tell us five interesting things about yourself.
  1. I once spent the night in an abandoned hospital in India, where I couldn’t leave my room until dawn because of the feral dogs wandering the halls. 
  2. I collect ketchup from around the world.
  3. I was once called upon to deliver an impromptu lecture about American journalist Horace Greeley to about one hundred Chinese college students.   
  4. I have a fear of fish and often dream that my basement is filled with killer whales. 
  5. I once got food poisoning while riding my bike from the Mississippi River to the Missouri River.
3LB: Is there anything else you’d like to share?
I’d just like to say thanks so much to all the readers – and bloggers like yourself – who’ve been so supportive of my work.  The best part of being a novelist has been making friends around the world with people who love books and reading as much as I do.  It’s an honor! 
Thank you, Beth! For more information about Ms. Fantaskey and her books, visit:
Read my reviews on Beth's novels, Jessica's Guide to Dating on the Dark Side (available now) and Jessica Rules the Dark Side (out January 2012)!
Jekel Loves HydeJill Jekel has always obeyed her parents rules; especially the one about never opening the mysterious, old box in her father's office. But when her dad is murdered, and her college savings disappear, she's tempted to peek inside, as the contents might be the key to a lucrative chemistry scholarship.
     To improve her odds, Jill enlists the help of gorgeous, brooding Tristen Hyde, who has his own dark secrets locked away. As the team of Jekel and Hyde, they recreate experiments based on the classic novel, hoping not only to win a prize, but to save Tristen's sanity. Maybe his life. But Jill's accidental taste of a formula unleashes her darkest nature and compels her to risk everything, even Tristen's love just for the thrill of being... bad.

Teaser Tuesday (36)

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:
  • Grab your current read
  • Open to a random page
  • Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
  • BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
  • Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!
Falling Under
Donny sent me another wary glance. "So, guys... how about that demon summoning? Ready to get started?"
~From Falling Under by Gwen Hayes

PLEASE LEAVE A COMMENT with either the link to your own Teaser Tuesday post, or share your two 'teasers' in a comment here (if you don't have a blog). Thanks!  

Cover Reveal: Obsidian by Jennifer L. Armentrout

I am super excited to be writing this post today, because GUYS, I get to reveal to you the super-hot cover and blurb for the first novel in Jennifer L. Armentrout's upcoming series: OBSIDIAN.


This novel is coming out December 6, 2011, and here is the official blurb:

Starting over sucks.

When we moved to West Virginia right before my senior year, I’d pretty much resigned myself to thick accents, outhouses, dodgy internet access, and a whole lot of boring. Until I spotted my hot neighbor with his looming height and eerie green eyes. Things were looking up.

And then he opened his mouth.

Daemon is infuriating. Arrogant. Stab-worthy. We do not get along. At all. But when a stranger attacks me and Daemon literally freezes time with a wave of his hand, well, something…unexpected happens.

The hot alien living next door marked me.

You heard me. Alien. Turns out Daemon and his sister have a galaxy of enemies wanting to steal their abilities, and the mark he left on me has me lit up like Las Vegas strip to the bad guys. The only way I'm getting out of this alive is by sticking close to Daemon until my alien mojo fades. If I don't kill him first, that is.

And then things got really bad…
If that hasn't got your attention... TAKE A LOOK AT THE COVER.
Click for larger image.

*breathes in, breathes out*

Half-Blood, which is coming very, very soon, was Jen's debut novel and I'm telling you: it was good. I'm so glad to hear that there's another book from her! She also has Cursed, a whole 'nother book, coming out later! Dang, girl! She's been so busy, but I'm so happy for her!

If you're (just as) super-duperly excited, grab the countdown widget!, below! And be sure to check Goodreads and the publisher's website for new information.


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